Investigating the Effect of Color on Memorization and Trust in E-Learning: The Case of KMCMS.net (Knowledge Management and Content Management System)

Investigating the Effect of Color on Memorization and Trust in E-Learning: The Case of KMCMS.net (Knowledge Management and Content Management System)

Jean-Eric Pelet (Department of Marketing and Information System, France) and Panagiota Papadopoulou (University of Athens, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-783-8.ch417

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1. Introduction

E-learning enhances the speed of training people, drastically reducing costs for educational institutions and businesses facing an increasing need to train people rapidly. E-learning often relies on the goodwill of some teachers or practical approaches of companies specialized in e-learning. A growing body of literature has studied e-learning with several studies focusing on principles for e-learning design and implementation (Scott, Shurville, Maclean et al., 2007; Ettinger, Holton and Blass, 2006; Siqueira, Braz & Melo, 2007). Based on 29 research case studies of organizations implementing e-learning projects, Ettinger et al. (2006) present key areas that should be taken into consideration. These studies point out that quality content and user-friendly technology needs to be carefully chosen, as they are even more important than for traditional learning. Among the various issues that are associated with e-learning, the interface is of primary importance. As mentioned by Weinreich et al. (2006), a breakdown of page characteristics shows that users often do not take the time to read the available text or consider all links. An e-learning platform cannot suffer from this type of problem, since learners have to trust a system where the information is neither hidden nor difficult to identify. The latest can be partly solved by a professional use of colors, (a) of text and hyperlinks (foreground color) and (b) of background.

The web interface is the portion of the website that is visible to the web user (Dailey, 2004). In parallel, drawing from Kotler’s (1973) definition of brick and mortar atmospherics, web atmospherics can be defined as the conscious design of web environments to create positive effects in users (e.g., positive affect, positive cognitions, etc.) in order to increase favorable responses (e.g., site revisiting, browsing, etc.) (Dailey, 2004). An important user behavioral response to a stimulus such as a course presented on an e-learning platform to learners, can be the memorization of educational content. Drawing from previous studies in e-commerce (Pelet, 2008, 2010b), the atmospherics of the e-learning interface can arguably have an important effect on memorization. However, with regard to research dealing with an element of the interface appearance, such as color, we have little information about the role in the process of memorization of e-learning content. Limited studies refer to this topic, and empirical studies dealing with the effect of interface consistency or inconsistency on learning processes for e-learning remain still quite rare.

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